January 12, 2024 By Paul Wallin

Understanding the California Criminal Justice Process: From Arrest to Trial


If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in California, it’s important to understand the criminal justice process from start to finish. The legal system can be complex and overwhelming, but having a general understanding of how things work can help ease some of the stress and confusion.

Having a skilled and experienced defense attorney on your side is crucial if you are facing criminal charges. Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free consultation!

Arrest

The first step in the process is an arrest. This occurs when a person is taken into custody by law enforcement for suspicion of committing a crime. In California, this can happen with or without a warrant.

If you are arrested, it’s important to remember that you have rights. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. It’s crucial that you exercise these rights and do not say anything that could potentially incriminate you.

Booking

After an arrest, the next step is booking. This is when the police take your personal information and photograph you. They will also take your fingerprints and collect any evidence related to the alleged crime.

Once you have been booked, you may be able to contact a defense attorney to help with your case. It’s important to do this as soon as possible, as having legal representation can greatly impact the outcome of your case.

Additionally, depending on the crime you are being accused of and the specific facts of the case, you may be able to post bail and avoid sitting in jail until your trial. A defense attorney can work to get your bail amount reduced, so you can go home and prepare for your upcoming trial. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have experience representing cases like yours. Call our office today for a free consultation!

Arraignment

The next step in the process is arraignment. This is when you appear before a judge and are formally charged with a crime. During this hearing, you will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

If you have a defense attorney, they will typically advise you on which plea to enter based on the specifics of your case. It’s important to carefully consider all options and consult with your attorney before making this decision.

Pre-Trial Proceedings

After the arraignment, there may be pre-trial proceedings such as bail hearings or motions to dismiss evidence. This is also when the prosecutor and defense attorney will gather evidence and prepare their cases for trial.

Trial

If your case goes to trial, a jury or judge will hear all of the evidence presented by both sides and determine whether you are guilty or not guilty. It’s important to have a strong defense attorney who can effectively present your case and protect your rights throughout the trial process.

Sentencing

If you are found guilty, the next step is sentencing. This is when the judge will decide your punishment, which can range from fines and probation to jail time or even more serious consequences depending on the severity of the crime.

Appeals

If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your trial, you may have the option to appeal your case. This is when a higher court reviews the trial and decides whether there were any errors or issues that may have impacted the outcome.

How a Defense Attorney Can Help

An experienced defense attorney is your greatest strength when facing criminal charges. Your attorney will help you through each step of the process, and can even help you appeal your case if you are eligible. 

Overall, facing criminal charges in California can be a daunting and stressful experience. That’s why it’s important to have a strong defense attorney on your side who can guide you through the process and fight for your rights. Remember, exercising your rights and seeking legal representation can greatly impact the outcome of your case.  So, if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in California, be sure to seek out help from a trusted defense attorney who can help protect your rights and work towards the best possible outcome for you.  Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the experience you need. We offer exceptional service, experience, and affordable payment options to help you manage the cost of hiring a defense attorney. Call our office today for a free consultation!

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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